The state Agency for Health Care Administration has taken formal disciplinary action against David A. Flick, a local former physician who was convicted and imprisoned early last year on two counts of conspiracy to traffic in oxycodone, one count of conspiracy to traffic in hydrocodone, as well as six counts of being a principal to obtaining a controlled substance by fraud.
AHCA announced this week that Flick was terminated in October from participating in the Medicaid program as a physician. That formalizing action comes almost two years after Flick was convicted and then sentenced to serve several years in state prison.
According to the Florida Department of Corrections, Flick is currently housed at Martin Correctional Institution in medium-level custody and is set for release in 2030.
He was sentenced to 13 years each on the three trafficking offenses and five years each on the six fraud counts, but the time is to be served concurrently for a total potential of 13 years in prison.
The Office of State Attorney Glenn Hess announced the convicted in a press release soon after Flick’s trial concluded on Jan. 24, 2017 in Jackson County.
In that press release, officials said the case was the result of an extensive investigation by Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) investigators and agents and task force officers from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
During the two days of witness testimony, Hess reported, Assistant State Attorney Laura Parish proved to jurors that David Flick had committed these crimes through the testimony of eleven witnesses and the introduction of 138 exhibits. Evidence was presented showing that David Flick had written over 1,000 prescriptions for controlled substances, amounting to a total of 49,896 pills, from his residence during a nine month period spanning February to November of 2015. Hess reported that witness testimony showed that during this period David Flick had written prescriptions, generally without any examination, in exchange most often for cash, but at other times as part of an agreement that the person recruit other “patients” to come to him to also receive prescriptions in exchange for cash.
Expert testimony from Dr. Reuben Hoch revealed that a review of Flick’s medical files showed that the doctor was “grossly inadequate” in both his record-keeping and in the practice of pain management. Dr. Hoch detailed many details regarding the review of the files and stated that Flick had been regularly prescribing patients a prescription combination of opioids and benzodiazepines, a potentially lethal cocktail of substances, that could have led to the patient’s death if taken as prescribed, Hess reported.
Further testimony, Hess reported, showed that Flick required patients to give his live-in girlfriend a portion of the controlled substances once the prescriptions he wrote were filled as part of what was described as a “kickback” program. The two and eventually others actively recruited individuals, predominantly opioid addicts from the Bay County area, to travel to his Marianna residence to pay $175-$300 in exchange for receiving prescriptions for a variety of substances to include Hydrocodone, Oxycodone, Xanax, Valium, Ativan, Ambien, Subutex, and Methadone, according to the release.
Other co-conspirators were encouraged by Flick to take half of the pills once the controlled substance prescription was filled in exchange for the introduction to the doctor or in exchange for the ride to his residence in Marianna from Bay County, the release stated.
Evidence also showed that Flick had at times traded prescriptions for illegal substances, such as crack cocaine, and had watched patients snort the Oxycodone he was prescribing them and had knowledge that others were using the controlled substances intravenously, Hess reported..
Multiple former patients testified that their opioid addictions were much worse after having seen Flick and receiving prescriptions from him, according to the Hess release. One reportedly stated that “it was the easiest thing I ever did,” but went on to say the patient’s opioid addiction, which began in 1996, was worse than it had ever been after engaging with David Flick in 2015, the release stated.
Another described the process as being easy access to controlled substances and a way to receive a prescription for a quantity of 90 Oxycodone tablets in exchange for $200 instead of the $40-$60 a pill they had been paying buying drugs “off the street” in Bay County and surrounding areas. Further testimony showed that Flick had knowledge that some of his “patients” were selling the prescriptions once filled, however, he continued to write prescriptions to that person knowing that the pills were being sold on the street, Hess reported.
At the conclusion of the three day trial the jury took a little over an hour to return a verdict of guilty as charged on all counts. Flick was sentenced in February of 2017.